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Maine Man: The Tony Book Story Hardcover – 9 Sep 2004
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'When Tony Book says "I've got a story to tell", he isn't kidding. book's rise to fame is the stuff of legend' --Manchester City Life
'A valuable insight into significant years in Manchester City's recent history' --Programme Monthly
'A gripping yarn' --Metro
Tony Book's football career is something of a modern-day fairytale. This is the definitive account of his intriguing journey. Born the son of an army officer in 1934, he spent his childhood in India playing barefoot football with the local kids. From there he returned a young man to Bath, where he played for a local miner's side, before following his father into the army. It was in the forces that his football ability began to really shine. After a short period in service, Book became a bricklayer and played for various local sides before joining his hometown team of Bath City. It was there that he first met manager Malcolm Allison -a figure who was to have a great effect on Book's later career. In 1964, at the age of 30, Book was transferred to league club Plymouth Argyle, where he played for two years before former boss Allison, by then co-manager at Manchester City, convinced his partner Joe Mercer to take a chance on the by now veteran full-back. The risk paid off as Book went on to captain the team throughout their most successful period, during which they won every domestic trophy, as well as the European Cup Winners' Cup. Book was the recipient of the first-ever Player of thSee all Product description
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Everyone reaching their 32nd Birthday, should read 'Maine Man'. For that's how old this former bricklayer was, when he played 1st Division football for the first time. An age when many of today's 'Stars' are hanging their boots up.
Book went on to play in the top flight for another 7 years, picking up Division One, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup medals along the way. In fact, he tells us of his regret of being persuaded to retire too early at 39!
For a brief spell, City with Book, were top dogs in Manchester.
I particularly liked the chapters dealing with life as a part timer in the 'non' and lower leagues.
Tony Book (Football's Corporal Jones) is still loved by City fans, and was arguably one of the best full backs never to have been selected for his country.
Here a story of an honest, uncomplicated and totally loyal, family man, paid (by today's standards) a pittance both as a player and later as a manager. How he must laugh at the antics of today's cosseted and overpaid 'Idols'.
The similarities in character between Book and the current City manager, Stuart Pearce are uncanny.
Despite being shortchanged, and finally 'dumped' by Manchester City. The book contains no character assassinations or exposes. Instead a kind word for everybody, almost. And this from a player who was 'as hard as nails'.
'Maine Man' includes anecdotes about City's Stars and 'Cheeky Chappies'. Players who 'slotted in', and those that didn't. Anyone who likes football will enjoy the read, particularly the advice he received from Sir Matt Busby, a gem.
The end of the book surprises us by showing the kindness of many individuals. For some of whom, we may previously had less than generous thoughts.
It is a riveting read. A must for City fans of all ages, but particularly 32 year olds', for whom it should be an inspiration, whatever team (if any)they support.
'Maine Man' shows talent will out, if backed by endeavour (and maybe a smile from Dame Fortune).
Interesting incite into behind the scenes football - a different and worthwhile football story.